No one can expect to be 100% secure online where internet freedom is becoming scarce, and cyber attacks are lurking in every direction. It is important to seek the right tools to protect your online security and not live in a fool’s paradise.
Keeping that in mind, users globally are suffering at the hands of geo-restrictions and are not able to surf the web freely. Multiple victims and organizations are suffering because of government espionage. And, thus, it has become difficult to stay secure online. Our every move could be and probably is being spied and recorded.
In light of the security concerns, two tools can help you protect and preserve your internet freedom. Tor and VPN are the two leading tools that, if, used properly would give you the ultimate online security to ever exist.
However, users compare the two tools together with the latter being very different from the former. They both serve the same purpose. However, their way of functioning is the exact opposite and the performance differs. Before you judge the tools and come to a conclusion, let’s make you spot the difference and see which is the better choice.
But first, let’s see how it works
Tor, known as the ‘The Onion Router’ was first developed and initiated by the US Naval service; Tor protects the connection by re-routing your data through multiple layers of encryption that creates a secure tunnel around your network.
Tor functions as a Network of servers which are called “nodes.” Every time you request something such as trying to connect to a website, the connection is routed through different nodes before it reaches the final destination. This may hinder the internet speed, but the connection remains encrypted throughout and is decrypted when it arrives.
Tor solely works on the number of people which can be called volunteers; however, a Virtual Private Network (VPN), on the other hand, routes your online traffic through one or two servers max before the online request reaches the final destination.
The VPN has its own set of servers spread globally on multiple locations. After the connection is bridged with the VPN, your connection will be established through a new IP while your real IP will be spoofed. All your online activity will be sent and received from that IP address while the real IP will be hidden from everyone.
Type of Protection Used
Through Tor, the connection is encrypted and re-encrypted on each node, and each server can see the IP address only that precedes it and which is followed further. But the server cannot see the entire connection, just a partial glimpse of the IP address.
With Tor, there is a weak spot between the last node and the destination where the request is sent (this is where the data or information gets decrypted). Also, it is quite risky being a volunteer on the exit node; the entire online activity will come from that server.
The VPN works differently. You can assume to be encrypted the whole time from sending requests from your device to the final recipient. While Tor only caters to one request at a time, the VPN will encrypt your whole connection as long as you are connected to it.
What Are They Mostly Used For?
If your country has bizarre internet restrictions and needs a solid fast way to browse the internet freely, then Tor is a fine choice. Tor can also be used to hide your online activities from government and mass-scale surveillance.
Meanwhile, VPN has multiple purposes. With strong encryption inclusive of the tool, it becomes the best option for securing online privacy. A reliable VPN will allow you to stream and access geo-restricted content from anywhere and keep your identity and IP address hidden from unwanted hackers and government prying eyes, allow you endless gaming, downloading files and much more.
See Also: 11 Cool Ways to Use VPN
Well, it is obvious which is a better tool. Tor is an excellent option if you are looking to protect your anonymity online while you browse, but Tor is limited to this feature alone. VPN is a far better option because it provides 100% safety and privacy online.
Tor can never provide the level of encryption that a VPN provides because VPN uses multiple different protocols including OpenVPN, SOCKS, PPTP, etc. It also implements security features such as double VPN, kill switch, static IP and much more. All of which enhance your online security like a steel vault.
For a safer approach, you can keep both the security tools and enhance your online security.